President Shimon Peres and the president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell  announced Thursday that Barcelona will face a mixed-team of Israelis and Palestinians in Israel on July 31 as part of a peace initiative.

"We know that football is a universal language that should be used to bring people together,’ Peres said. "FC Barcelona, modestly, wishes to make themselves available in order to contribute to strengthen the bridges of peace and dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian communities. The best way we can think of to do that is with a ball."

Rosell added: ‘Children have heroes like Messi, Xavi and Iniesta to copy. Sport in general, and football in particular, brings down barriers, eliminates racism and teaches us to compete in friendship rather than fight in anger.’